As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Matador, 28 November 2019. ISBN: 978-1-838591-44-1 (PB)
When a disparate group of individuals from the
charitable foundation Future World decides the human population is putting our
planet in peril, their solution to the problem is decidedly radical. They
resolve to kill as many people as possible. Given the pandemic we are
currently living through their chosen method may sound a tad familiar. They
plan to unleash a lethal virus, H7N9, for which there is no vaccine available
on the innocent and unsuspecting public. To give credit where credit is
due, they considered - and dismissed - other methods of elimination but were
restricted by a wish to avoid killing animals or plants. It’s just humans they
want rid of. Bearing in mind that Future World is dedicated to the
identification and reduction of man-made catastrophes, they really are a most
lights in this conspiracy are three well-educated young women. Catherine
Cooper, half-German/half-English, is an academic specializing in population
geography, Cindy Horvath is a beautiful Hungarian and Gina Saito is Japanese.
Apart from the fate of the world, Saito seems to care only for her neon
tetras. The girls are aided by a miscellaneous collection of “helper” men
whose motives are not always focused on the task in hand. As they operate only
on a need to know basis and often know very little, this is not that
surprising. They are, of course, fully expendable.
girls are busily travelling around meeting each other and the “helpers” in
cafes and airports around the United States and Europe, security agents from
Germany, Hungary and the States are busy watching them and trying to unravel
what is going on. Dieter Klein heads the German security agency whose minions,
particularly Ursula Lang, are following the girls’ activities and their
connectivity to Gudrun Gronefeld who works in a lab working on the genetic
manipulation of dangerous viruses. Adabert Pearson from the US is more “hands
on” than his European counterparts. He bugs apartments and connects their
computers to his own setup. He learns much this way, especially as
Catherine Cooper, who lives on her own, has the habit of chewing things over
with her cat, Schnucki.
Klien is fed up with his job and decides he would prefer to be a fulltime
musician, or better still a composer even though he has no expertise or talents
in either of these disciplines. He angles - via a gullible psychologist –
to be retired early and is replaced by Ursula Lang. Ursula knits continuously,
takes the security of her country seriously and cooperates with her
counterparts from other agencies. Her methods are unorthodox but
cumulatively she and her fellow investigators get results.
The Ears of
the Cat is an unusual tale in which the leading characters
seem to believe in the importance of their mission and to be prepared to die
for their cause. Roderick Hart has a wry sense of humour, an intriguing way
with words and a deceptively relaxed style of writing. Although I assume,
he doesn’t expect us to take the book too seriously, he still finishes it on a
horribly somber note. If you can manage the topic in these difficult times,
there is plenty of entertainment to be found within its covers.
Hart grew up in
Fife, was educated in St Andrews and Glasgow and completed an MA in English
Language and Literature at Aberdeen University. He has published poetry in
anthologies of Scottish verse, made bubble gum in Pennsylvania, studied folk
music in Afghanistan, and worked for many years in a recording studio training
student in scripting, recording, editing, and studio operations. An active
member of a BPD support group (Borderline Personality Disorder) he has learned
the hard way the strain this condition puts not only on the person with the
disorder, but on relatives and friends as well. He has two children and
currently lives with his wife and cat in an old farmhouse on the outskirts of
Angela Crowtheris a
retired scientist. She has published many scientific papers but, as yet,
no crime fiction. In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing
group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the
operas of Verdi and Wagner.